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Small Business Center

How to Apply for an SBA Disaster Loan

October 4, 2022

The 2022 hurricane season isn’t done, but the damage inflicted by Hurricane Ian — and Hurricane Fiona a few weeks earlier — means small businesses in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Carolinas are picking up the pieces and wondering how to get back on their feet.

The Small Business Administration’s disaster loan programs are the best way to start — and the cheapest option for most business owners. Any business can apply for an SBA disaster loan, as can nonprofits, homeowners and residential renters affected by declared disasters. Those designations cover hurricanes, floods and wildfires, as well as civil unrest.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently offered advice to small business owners on how to apply for these loans. First, decide which program is best for your business:

Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Small businesses, agricultural cooperatives and private nonprofits in declared disaster areas can use these loans.

Mitigation assistance: Eligible people and businesses affected by declared disasters can use these low-interest disaster loans to strengthen physical structures, apply rooftop-mounted equipment, implement hail protection and more.

Military Reservists Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Intended for businesses that employ one or more military reservists called to active duty, these loans help eligible small businesses with operating expenses.

Business physical disaster loans: These loans for businesses and nonprofits can cover losses not fully covered by insurance and can be used for property, machinery, equipment, fixtures, inventory and leasehold improvements. They cannot be used to upgrade or expand a business.

Read the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s step-by-step guide on applying for SBA disaster loans here.